Updated 6/2/2020 9:00 AM

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Africanized Bees

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Living with Africanized Honey Bees

Africanized honey bees (AHBs) also called "killer bees", arrived in Southern California in 1994 and has become established in Los Angeles County.  The Africanized honey bee is closely related to the European honey bee (EHB) used in agriculture for crop pollination and honey production.

Africanized and European honey bees do have some similarities:

  • Look Identicial
  • Can sting only once
  • Have the same venom
  • Protect their colony and sting in defense
  • Produce honey & wax

Africanized Bees do have some differences:

  • Respond quickly in large numbers
  • Defend a larger area around their hive
  • Pursue intruders 1/4 mile or more
  • Swarm frequently to establish new colonies
  • Nest in small cavities and sheltered areas

If attacked:

  • Leave the area quickly
  • Protect your head and face with arms and/or available clothing
  • Seek shelter in the nearest building or vehicle
  • Do not jump into water
  • Remove stingers as quickly as possible
  • Call 9-1-1

 Africanized Bee Information Pamphlet


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